How I (Finally!) Learned to Turn My Brain Off Before Bed



Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on honing habits that aren’t just good for my body, but for my mind, too. And (like many other sleep-deprived Americans), refining my sleep schedule was a main priority on that list.

I know I don’t need to tell you that catching the right amount of zzzz’s per night is super important for maintaining healthy brain and bodily functions, but not everyone realizes how important it is for your mental well-being, too. When I’m sleep deprived, I turn into an emotional, irrational, short-tempered, annoying version of myself who — ask any of my family or friends — is not pleasant to be around. Caution: if you see me out rocking my under-eye bags that day, do yourself a favor and stay away. Far, far away.

Unfortunately, I wear my eye bags (not confidently) wayyy more often than I’d like. You see, sleep is one of the things that pretty much goes out the window when your schedule is packed with classes and work, forcing you to stay up until 2 (or 3 or 4) a.m. plugging away at what seems like a never-ending to-do list.

But recently, even if I DO make it to bed (also known as my favorite place on Earth) at a reasonable hour, I often lie awake for hours on end stressing about what the heck I’m going to do with my life once I graduate school or thinking other unnecessary thoughts about things totally out of my control. Sometimes my brain can really get on my nerves! Am I the only one who wishes this thing had an off switch? Like, seriously, I am trying to catch a REM cycle over here, dude.

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The Checkup: How to Get Tons of Protein Into Your Diet — Without Eating Meat

• As a human who doesn’t eat meat, I get this question from friends, coworkers and near-strangers often: “I’m thinking of giving up meat. But HOW will I get protein??????” Fear-filled eyes are a given. Well, here, friends: 20 ways to get tons of protein into your dietwithout eating meat. (Tip: Add hemp seeds to the list and you’ve got 21 ways!) [Runner’s World] Read more »

The Checkup: The Ingredient to Throw on Everything You Eat to Burn More Fat

• With Beyoncé in town yesterday, we feel there’s no better time than now to talk about hot sauce. (After all, Queen Bey does carry it in her bag.) Turns out, hot sauce can work all sorts of wonders for your health, from helping you to burn more fat (really!) to boosting your mood (again, really!) and more. [Women’s Health] Read more »

The Checkup: MLK Drive Is Getting a Serious Trail Upgrade 

• Just last week, I was biking along the trail that runs along MLK Drive when I realized just how many bumps and grooves are speckled throughout, many of which could easily send a cyclist flying or trip up a runner. Good news, though: According to the folks over at PlanPhilly, a $500,000 grant — which will be matched by Philadelphia Parks and Recreation — was just approved to fix up four miles of the MLK Drive Trail. Can we get an amen? [PlanPhilly] Read more »

The Checkup: The 5-Minute Meditation Routine for Better Sex

Meditation can be a hard sell, but one thing that’s sure to get plenty of people to close their eyes and follow their breath is the promise of better sex, which is exactly what meditation guru Emily Fletcher says is just one of the many benefits you can expect from the practice. Here, a five-minute meditation routine she says will improve your time between the sheets. [Well + Good] Read more »

The Checkup: The Leafy Green You Should Be Adding to Your Salads 

Sorrel: If you’ve never loaded a bunch of this leafy green into your grocery cart, you’re not alone. But you should probably start: One cup of this lemony leaf has 4 grams of fiber, three grams of protein and more potassium than a banana, blowing spinach, my personal pick for salads, out of the water. [POPSUGAR Fitness] Read more »

The Checkup: How to Burn Way More Calories Without Ever Really Exercising

• Good news for all the gym haters of the world: There’s a little something called Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, which encompasses everyday movements that aren’t necessarily considered exercise. Think: gesturing with your hands when you talk, tapping your foot while your work at your laptop, and taking a walking meeting. And get this: According to the brains behind it, upping NEAT can help folks burn up to 850 more calories in a day — without ever really exercising. [Fast Company] Read more »

Discover Hidden Wonders in Fairmount Park with This Guided Hiking Series

Fairmount Park Conservancy Hike | Photo via Facbooke

Hike in Fairmount Park | Photo via Facebook

When you think of Philadelphia, vibrant woodlands aren’t the first thing that comes to mind — but Philly is actually teeming with natural acres of forest that many locals fail to take advantage of. The Fairmount Park Conservancy hopes to change that with their Go Take a Hike! program, designed to help Philly residents discover the natural wonders hidden right in our backyard. Read more »

The Checkup: The Gross Reason You Shouldn’t Go to Bed with Wet Hair

• Going to bed freshly showered is like waking up on a Saturday morning and realizing you don’t have to go to the office: It just feels good. But turns out, going to bed with wet hair could be contributing to an uptick in dust mites — hello, asthma and sinus infections — and mold (gross!) in your pillow. [Health] Read more »

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